Dina Manzo's Ex-Husband Hired Mobster to Assault Her Current Husband in 2015, Feds Say
By Desiree Murphy
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images
Tommy Manzo, the ex-husband of former The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dina Manzo, was arrested Tuesday on charges of allegedly hiring a member of the Lucchese Crime Family mob to carry out an assault on Dina's current husband, Dave Cantin, in July 2015.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced in a press release that Tommy, 55, of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, allegedly hired John Perna, 43, of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, to assault Dave. According to the indictment, Tommy gave John a steep discount for a lavish wedding reception the following month at The Brownstone in Paterson that Tommy co-owned.
Tommy and John have each been charged by indictment with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, and conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity. They are expected to appear in federal court Tuesday afternoon via a videoconference.
"The allegations more resemble a fictional plot of a reality TV show and will be proven to be absolutely and totally false as it relates to Thomas Manzo," Tommy's attorney, Michael Critchley, said in a statement to NJ.com. ET has reached out to Tommy and John's legal teams for further comment.
Tommy and Dina were married for nearly 11 years before splitting in 2016. Dina and Dave were dating at the time of the alleged assault, and eventually tied the knot in June 2017.
"The bride wore a dress from her closet, an orange blossom in her hair and carried a Calla Lily from her Malibu Garden," Dina wrote in an Instagram post that confirmed the news two years later. "In front of the gorgeous Pacific, surrounded by nature and puppies, they promised to be there in good times and bad. ❤️A simple, meaningful wedding on a day chosen by the stars.? ... and so it is. #thirdtimesacharm 6•28•17."
“You know, I always felt like I was a California girl stuck in New Jersey. Every time I came here, it felt like home," she shared. "I'm not gonna lie, it was my divorce. I wanted to run as far away as possible from what was going on, and my daughter [Lexi] was in college, and I was like, 'OK, I can pick up my animals and go anywhere I want.' And I did."
"I never thought I'd be in another relationship," she continued. "I was really cool with just being on my own. I enjoy my own company … I kind of want to tell a lot of women out there who are going through -- especially over 40 -- divorce, it's like, don't force it. It's gonna come."